What Would Neil Do?

A fun follow-up to the last post…  found the photo above in the new issue of Modern Painter, a magazine I’ve been enjoying lately for its eclectic arts coverage.   “What Would Neil Young Do?” by Martin Herbert looks at Neil as an inspiration for artists, for his uncompromising approach to his art.  The photo shown above is by Melanie Schiff, entitled Neil Young, Neil Young (2004); here’s more on the image:

In it, a figure’s head is obscured by the cover of Young’s debut solo album, with its life-size carbon-dated psychedelic portrait of the musician. “It’s about fandom, genius, and awe,” says the young Chicago photographer. “He was 23 when he recorded it, and I just found — and find, now that I’m older than that — it incredible that someone of that age can make something so amazing. It was a way of making it my face, because it’s me in the photograph, like a cover song or a tribute or a wish.” The line between admiration and analysis is consciously hazed; Schiff, like the other artists I talked to, can happily spiel till sundown about Young, which points to a degree of investment that exceeds callow referentiality and shades into something greater and more deeply seated. “I don’t think of him as a musician, I think of him as an artist,” says Lee. “His work has a conceptual quality to it, and he’s not afraid to experiment and lose fans in the process,” says Deller. He has, for Durant, “incredible integrity and authenticity.”

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